A loveletter to the sports that have given me so much!

About this post: Years of playing a variety of sports has given my children amazing skills that they’ll carry throughout their lives. But I’d no idea what being a hockey mom, dance mom, riding mom or volleyball mom…would give to me! This is a love letter to the sports, that gave me so much!

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A few months ago, my son called to explain that he’d come to the realization that years of playing hockey, taught him so much more than simply how to play the game.

Now that he helps to coach his former High School team, he’s rather taken back by this revelation and described to me all of the life-skills he’s learned from the time he’s spent playing this game he loved! And he wondered if I’d had any idea.

Ummm…duh?

Did he think I spent all that money so he could learn to put a puck in the net?!

Through my children’s involvement in sports, they’ve learned skills that will carry them forward in life. But to be honest, this post isn’t about them…it’s about ME!

I’ve had SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES AND ADVENTURES from the sports my children have played that I couldn’t even begin to list everything! In fact, now with all three of them no longer living at home…I rather miss the various games, practices, fundraisers, and tournaments that used to crowd my calendar…forcing me out of the house, traveling to various places, and meeting new friends!

Through all of the years of being involved in sports:

  • I’ve visited just about every province in Canada
  • I was part of the re-creation of Orange is the New Black in a run-down university dorm in Calgary
  • I saw Buffalo UP CLOSE while driving through a National Park in Alberta
  • I crashed a car on a beach during a wild and crazy hockey-mom night in PEI
  • I survived a sleepover in my home with 18 boys
  • I was part of (and managed) incredible fundraisers
  • I visited the amazing St. Jacob’s Market in Waterloo
  • I spent a day at Canada’s Wonderland
  • I cried my eyes out in a dress shop in Edmonton
  • I saw a dead deer in the back of a truck in a Tim Horton’s coffee shop in New Brunswick
  • I had the opportunity to see my grandmother for the last time during a tournament in Newfoundland
  • I said goodbye to Hockey in my first “viral blog post” when my son left high school (only for him to then continue on for two more years)
  • I watched my youngest reach a lifelong dream of playing university volleyball
  • I watched simultaneous hockey and volleyball games from my computer, streaming from both Montreal and St. John’s
  • And I discovered how long I could hold my breath when my son got in a fight as I watched online from my living room couch!

ALL THIS and SO MUCH MORE!

And throughout it all…I met the most amazing men and women who’ve been part of such a large chapter of my life…and I truly feel blessed.

The other day, in the middle of the supermarket, a hockey dad called out from across the checkouts asking how I was, how my kids were, and what was new in my life. We chatted about our kids and their achievements…with a man I rarely see but still, someone I’ve spent hour after hour in the rink with where we both have a vested interest in each other’s lives and care a great deal about one another’s children.

I’d been at the supermarket to get ingredients for a charcuterie board as just that evening, four volleyball moms were coming to my place so we could catch up with one another…have a few laughs over a few bottles of wine…see what our kids were up to and fill each other in on our lives.

All of these people I’ve traveled with, had adventures with, raised a glass with in some hotel room in some town or other…they’re all part of my life! Whether I see these folks on a regular basis or just run into them in passing, I enjoy hearing about their children…I miss the chaos and shared experiences…that sense of belonging.

All three of my kids learned so much for sports and I’ve written about it extensively through my blog…but kids aside, what I’ve gained from sports is ABSOLUTELY PHENOMENAL! I had no idea when my oldest signed up for dance and soccer, when my son played hockey and lacrosse, when my youngest started riding and playing volleyball…that I’d meet so many people who would turn out to mean so much to me!

So, if we’ve sat on a bleacher together, shared a glass of wine in a styrofoam cup sitting in a hotel room, driven through snowstorms to get to a rink where we curled up under a blanket, cheered together, made grilled-cheese sandwiches together, or taken part in fundraisers together…this post is for you.

I’m incredibly thankful that sports have given me so many phenomenal memories…that I always had something to do on the weekend and a few nights through the week, that I visited so many awesome places and had so many adventures…and I did it all, with the most remarkable group of people…I’m happy to call friends.

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